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Thursday, August 2, 2012


“You gotta dance with the one that brung you.”  This is an old saying, but it holds true for educators today.  “YOU gotta dance with the one that fund you!”  Common Core State Standards are setting the course for instruction.  It is as it is!  And although we can’t adjust the wind, we can adjust our sails.  So, over the next few months on my website I am going to attempt to take the standards and suggest engaging, fun, and meaningful activities that will develop these skills.  I’ll also post them on my blog.

Clearly, classroom teachers don’t have a great deal of input with setting standards or choosing content.  You do have a great deal of autonomy when it comes to learning activities.  Are you going to just pass out a worksheet or are you going to let children make a blank book about a concept?  Are you going to sing a song or have them do a partner project?

I realize that many of you have scripted lessons that you must follow.  However, according to research most teachers (at all grade levels) waste about 20-25% of the school day with transitions – stand up, sit down, clean up, change classes.  That’s when you can slip in a song or group game.  You’ve got to think outside the box and use the teacher’s curriculum guide as a springboard for your own creativity and personality. 

Although I’ll be focusing on kindergarten standards, the ideas and activities can easily be adapted for all primary grades.  If you’ve been to my workshops some of the songs, stories, and games might be familiar to you already.  I just wanted you to be aware of all the learning possibilities from the things you do where children are playfully engaged.

This has been a task of love for sure!!!  (A nice way of saying I've worked very hard!)   I’ll welcome your suggestions and comments because “Great teachers are not born.  They are made by the teacher next door!”  Let's hold hands and stick together to make this an exciting journey!

Fasten your seatbelts because here we go!